Sports

Realignment: Mitch McConnell Involved in West Virginia to Big 12 Delay?

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Two days ago, it was a done deal that WVU was heading to the Big 12. Their addition would give the Big 12 ten teams and for the time being, at least, they said they were going to stick with just ten squads. Louisville appeared to be on the outside looking in and stuck in a Big East with just five football teams.

A day later and it appears that things involving the Big 12 and West Virginia have hit a snap, and low and behold, Louisville could be the reason.

According to a story from West Virginia MetroNews and the Dominion Post, the Big 12′s plans to add West Virginia have hit a snag, possibly because of a late push by the University of Louisville to be added over the Mountaineers.

As of late yesterday afternoon, WVU had received a verbal invitation to the Big 12 and had accepted. Plans were in the works for a news conference Wednesday to make the announcement.

But sources say the process hit a “bump in the road” last night. WVU was apparently notified by the Big 12 that it needed “more information” from WVU and that there would be a vote by the Big 12 Board, perhaps on Monday.

Courtesy of MetroNews

Yesterday, there were also reports that a press conference would take place on Wednesday to officially announce WVU’s move to the Big 12. Now it appears that won’t happen.

“Contrary to media reports, there is no press conference scheduled for Wednesday concerning WVU’s athletic conference affiliation. There are no further comments at that time,” the statement said.

Now, this doesn’t mean that WVU isn’t heading to the Big 12. They very well could be on their way to a new conference. But, it could also mean that Louisville has made a last ditch effort to latch on to the Big 12 and the Big 12 is listening to their sales pitch.

There are even reports out there that Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has something to do with it. I’m not sure what he could have done and believe he has more important things to worry about, but a West Virginia forum (BlueGoldNews.com) is asking their readers to contact the senator in an attempt to get him to back off.

This conference realignment stuff just gets nuttier and nuttier.

Update:

Earlier today we reported that senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) may have something to do with the Big 12 rethinking their decision to add West Virginia.

Well, the New York Times’ Pete Thamel explains what is happening to the best of his knowledge.

A late push by Louisville has put political pressure on the Big 12 and opened the possibility of Louisville’s being the university that is admitted instead of West Virginia. Two people with direct knowledge of the situation said that lobbying by the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, including to David Boren, the president of the University of Oklahoma and a former senator, helped slow West Virginia’s admittance to the Big 12.

Courtesy of New York Times

I say they make Ellis Myles and Kevin Pittsnogle fight for the slot in the Big 12. Do it!

And it gets more nuts. Now there are talks about Notre Dame joining Big 12 and the Big 12 isn’t asking ND to leave their TV money like the ACC did. All they are asking is that they play three road and three home games against Big 12 teams each year.